Floor Joist Repair - Sagging Floors
So I've been reading for weeks regarding repairing sagging floor joists.
I have purchased an older home and my kitchen and sags towards my bathroom (which is more severely sagging)
My biggest problem is that I have ZERO support beams in my basement. None! Zilch!
To compound matters further, my basement (which is small) has plumbing pipes running against the bottom of most of the joists which makes it impossible to find a space to jack at.
The natural gas heater was installed right next to what appears to be some type of chimney and due to the air ducts, there is NO place I can jack near this. This location seems to be where the majority of the sagging is occurring.
Despite all of this, I would still like to attempt to jack on either sides of this location.
Will this work?
Welcome to the site.
Length of joists?( Between walls) Demension of joists? Lay out of joists like 16" from center to center or what? Any cracked broken or cut joists.
You said sagged which would be down in the middle or is it sloped to one end, like one wall has settled? Type size and height of foundation?
It would be very helpful if you could post a few pictures of what your basement support structure looks like. Hard for us to come up with possible suggestions if we can't see what you are seeing.
Welcome aboard !
Keep in mind most of this sagging took place slowly over decades. Look for clues above as well as below the floor. Things like door frames that have had the bottom and top of the doors trimmed and then compare the age of those repairs based on layers of paint and wear. Also look for cracks in the plaster that have been filled. Rapidly correcting the sagging problem will cause a bunch of new issue above and below sometimes.
I have always heard some of the charm of an older home is these imperfections and I have lived with many, but they do make all your remodeling efforts harder. My first old house I tried to stabilize more than correct. With a little bit of correction when I could. Then living with the results or making additional corrections such as leveling the floor surfaces if I was going to cover them.
I just started a new (old) just last week circa 1900 and after we closed I took my 4 foot level and walked around the house for hours looking at plumb and level. A golf ball is also a great tool to roll across the floor. I know just what you are facing and the basement in this place has an octopus of duct work and piping attached or blocking every joist. It also has a dirt floor making adding pads to support from a lot easier digging footings if needed. As an added bonus the previous owner left it full of junk for me to haul out but one of the pieces of junk is a cement mixer of all things. Might come in handy if I want to pour a floor or something. These type of basements like you and I have were never intended to be more than a place for the coal bin and furnace and some storage area like a fruit cellar or for canned good.
For that reason I don’t worry too much about adding a few support walls or jack posts here and there to stiffen up a floor or take the bounce out and maybe slow the sagging process a little. Now on the other hand if you see signs of rapid changing taking place like a beam is rotting off and letting the weight of the house down, you have to take some corrective action and that should most likely require getting a professional to take a look at it.
As others have posted its imposable to assess your problems without at minimum a few photos. But based around how you described things it sounds like your problem has been a gradual change. Basement floors are not made thick enough to support the force of lifting a house and done right you should put down a footing where you want to lift against. At minimum put down several layers of heavy plywood or some cribbing blocking to spread out the load. If you use something like a screw support posts here and there I would go at it very slowly. Snug them up and wait a few days and then give them a partial turn every week or so. I did this in an old garage I had that the center beam had sagged 4 inches I started in the spring (no snow load and roofing more pliable) and every day I would raise it 1/16 inch or less. By fall it was the high spot in the roof and I sister and bolted new beams to each side and took the jack out and had a place to park again without any roof leaks or structure problems. In a house plaster and glass isn’t as forgiving.
Good luck and welcome to the forum. Keep us posted on what you do and what you find out. Every problem like this is unique and many will be able to learn from what you find out.
Welcome to the site ... you can already tell there is a wealth of sound knowledge and experience here. :D
This might sound difficult, but I sense you should temporarily re-route the plumbing so it is off the joists. This would allow you to properly jack the existing structure and add new. Your pictures will help determine if this is the best direction to take.
Remember the jacking process must be slow to minimize damage and maximize adjustment within the framing and walls. A 1/4 turn per day on your jack posts is often recommended.
Once you have achieved the desired leveling, you can bring in new joists as stand alones or sister them to your existing joists. This should fix your problem ....
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